As we know, people and families can change over time. Reinstating parental rights has recently emerged as a strategy to achieve permanency for children and youth in foster care in certain circumstances. A small number of States now allow a petition to be filed with the court requesting reinstatement of a parent's rights if a permanent placement has not been achieved within a specific timeframe. Resources on reinstating parental rights include State and local examples.
Bio Family 2.0: Can the American Child Welfare System Finally Find Permanency for 'Legal Orphans' With a Statute to Reinstate Parental Rights? (PDF - 169 KB)
University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 47(2)
Proposes a model statutory provision to reinstate parental rights under certain circumstances to give legal orphans a second chance with their rehabilitated biological parents.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Reinstatement of Parental Rights
National Conference of State Legislatures (2016)
Provides information about States that have legislation in place that allows for the reinstatement of parental rights following termination of parental rights.
Reinstating Parental Rights: Another Path to Permanency? (PDF - 174 KB)
Getman & Christian (2011)
Protecting Children, 26(1)
Highlights trends regarding youth with the goal of alternate planned permanent living arrangements and no permanent legal connections to adults, data regarding youth who maintain or seek connections with birth families after emancipation, and statutes that authorize reinstatement of parental rights.
Resurrecting Parents of Legal Orphans: Un-Terminating Parental Rights (PDF - 513 KB)
Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law
Examines efforts being made to address the increasing number of legal orphans created each year and proposes that States enact legislation providing for a temporary termination of parental rights order.
A Second Chance for Children and Families: A Model Statute to Reinstate Parental Rights After Termination (PDF - 117 KB)
Explains how, in limited circumstances, it is in the best interest of the child to vacate a ?nal order of termination and reinstate parental rights.
Reinstatement of Parental Rights: An Important Step Toward Solving the Problem of Legal Orphans (PDF - 39 KB)
Carter & Widner (2009)
Georgia Office of the Child Advocate
Explains the value of reinstating parental rights by taking a closer look at the problem of legal orphans in Georgia, examining Georgia law, and analyzing the proposal and its projected impact.
Restoration of Parental Rights (PDF - 894 KB)
Virginia Commission on Youth (2013)
Presents the findings and a study of legislation introduced in Virginia that would establish a procedure for restoring terminated parental rights. The study includes recommendations for legislative change in Virginia.
Restoring Parental Rights: Giving Legal Orphans a Chance at a Family (PDF - 58 KB)
Schmidt & Dabney (2007)
ABA Child Law Practice, 25(11)
Describes enacted legislation in California that allows juvenile courts to reinstate parental rights when in a child's best interest.